The Crimea medal awarded to Lieutenant-Colonel George Carpenter, 41st Regiment, who was killed while gallantly commanding his regiment at the battle of Inkermann on 5 November 1854
Crimea 1854-56, 3 clasps, Alma, Inkermann, Sebastopol (Lieut. Coln. Geoe. Carpenter 41st Foot.) contemporary Hunt & Roskellstyle engraved naming,
George Carpenter was born in London on 12 May 1800. He was commissioned Ensign in the 53rd Regiment on 1 October 1818, becoming Lieutenant on 1 March 1820, but was placed on half-pay in September 1823 on reduction of the regiment.
He purchased a company in October 1825 and joined the 41st Regiment as a Captain in July 1829, purchasing the Majority in 1845 and the Lieutenant-Colonelcy in December 1820.
He took the regiment to the Crimea, commanded it with distinction at the Alma, and was killed in action at Inkermann. He was struck down at a moment when our troops were losing ground, and remained for some cruel instants in the enemy’s hands, but though presently rescued by the valour of a private soldier named Thomas Beach, he afterwards died of his wounds. Beach also rescued a private of the 41st named Patrick Hartley. For these acts Beach, a 55th man, received the Victoria Cross.
The following biography of Lieutenant-Colonel Carpenter is taken from Memoirs of the Brave, by James Gibson, London 1855:
‘This lamented officer, who fell while gallantly commanding the 41st Regiment at the battle of Inkermann, on the 5th of November, was the only son of General Carpenter, of Great Cumberland Street, Hyde Park. He was in his fifty-fourth year, and had seen considerable service, especially in India, and was twice shipwrecked while in command of troops. Colonel Carpenter met with so severe an accident by a fall from his horse, previous to the starting of the expedition to the Crimea, as might have fairly invalided a less determined soldier. He was able, however, to be the first of his division to cross the Alma, and gallantly to lead his regiment up the heights. At this battle he escaped without a wound, although his horse was shot in two places. He, however, found at the close, that his only son, Lieutenant Carpenter of the 7th Fusiliers, had fallen severely wounded, and had only time to see him taken on board one of the steamers, when the forced march on Balaklava began. Colonel Carpenter subsequently distinguished himself against the first sortie from Sebastopol, and finally, in the energetic and bold defence of the position at Inkermann, the brunt of which fell on the Second Division, to which Colonel Carpenter was attached, and the Guards, closed his services by a soldier’s death: “an honour” – as the correspondent of one of the newspapers says – to his country and his family, “but a deep disgrace to the Russians;” for we hear it is but too true that this brave man, when put hors de combat, was remorselessly assailed again and again by an enemy who pretended to civilisation.’
Colonel Carpenter’s name appeared in the London Gazette of 10 July 1855, in a ’List of Officers of the Army and Navy who would have been recommended for the honours of First, Second, and Third Classes of the Order of the Bath, had they survived’.
Private Thomas Beach, 55th Regiment, was awarded the Victoria Cross, London Gazette 24 February 1857: ‘For conspicuous gallantry at the Battle of Inkermann, 5th November 1854, when on piquet, attacking several Russians who were plundering Lieutenant-Colonel Carpenter, 41st Regiment, who was lying wounded on the ground. Beach killed two of the Russians and protected Lt-Colonel Carpenter until the arrival of some men of the 41st.’
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